Noah's Ark Construction Project
The years are 2000 to 2002 and Noah lives in the United States.
The Lord said to Noah: "There's gonna be a flood...."
And the Lord spoke unto Noah and said: "In six months I'm going to make it rain until the whole earth is covered with water and all the evil people are destroyed. But I want to save a few good people, and two of every kind of living thing on the planet. I am ordering you to build Me an Ark" said the Lord.
In a flash of lightning He delivered the specifications for an Ark.
"OK," said Noah, trembling in fear and fumbling with the blueprints.
"Six months, and it starts to rain!" thundered the Lord. "You'd better have my Ark completed, or learn how to swim for a very long time."
And so, six months passed.
The skies began to darken. Fierce storm clouds covered the earth and all the seas of the earth went into a tumult. The Lord saw that Noah was sitting in his front yard, weeping. And there was no Ark.
"Noah!" shouted the Lord, "Where is my Ark?" A lightning bolt crashed into the ground next to Noah, for emphasis.
"Lord, please forgive me," begged Noah. "I did my best. But there were big problems. First I had to get a building permit for the Ark construction project, and your plans didn't meet Code. So I had to hire an engineering firm to redraw the plans.
Then I got into a big fight with OSHA over whether or not the Ark needed a fire sprinkler system and flotation devices.
"My neighbors objected, claiming I was violating zoning by building the Ark in my front yard, so I had to get a variance from the city planning commission.
"Then I had a problem getting enough wood for the Ark because there was a ban on cutting trees to save the Spotted Owl. I had to convince the U.S. Forest Service that I needed the wood to save the Owls. However, the Fish and Wildlife Service wouldn't let me catch any owls. So, no owls." Noah threw his hands up in the air.
"Then the carpenters formed a union and went out on strike. I had to negotiate a settlement with the Labor Relations Board before anyone would pick up a saw or a hammer. Now we've got 16 carpenters going on the boat, and still no owls."
"Then I started gathering up the animals, and got sued by an animal rights group. They objected to me taking two of each kind aboard.
Just when I got the suit dismissed, EPA notified me that I couldn't complete the Ark without filing an environmental impact statement on your proposed Flood. They didn't take kindly to the idea that they had no jurisdiction over the conduct of a Supreme Being -- the Creator of the Universe.
The Army Corps of Engineers demanded a map of the proposed new flood plain. I sent them a globe.
"Right now I'm still trying to resolve a complaint from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that I am practicing discrimination by not taking godless, unbelieving people aboard.
"The IRS has seized all my assets claiming I'm building the Ark in preparation to flee the country to avoid paying my taxes. Today I got a notice from the state that I owe them some kind of user tax and need to register the Ark as a 'recreational water craft'. Then! it has to pass a Coast Guard inspection.
"Finally, the ACLU got the courts to issue an injunction against further construction of the Ark, saying that since God is flooding the earth, it is a religious event and therefore, unconstitutional.
"I really don't think I can finish your Ark for at least another five years!" Noah wailed.
The sky began to clear. The sun began to shine. A rainbow arched gracefully across the sky. Noah looked up and smiled. "You mean you're not going to destroy the earth?" he asked hopefully.
"No," thundered the Lord, "Humanity has invented something far worse -- Government.
So a year later The Lord came back and said:
"Noah, I'm still unhappy with the way the world is going, so I'm going to give you another year to build an Ark before I make it rain and cover the whole earth with water until all is destroyed. Try to do a better job this time."
Having learned from his past mistakes, Noah set about his task again.
Another year passed and The Lord sent a dozen of the Heavenly Host down to Earth to find out what progress had been made. They returned disheveled in appearance and slightly singed.
"What's the meaning of this?" demanded The Lord. "Did you encounter some of Satan's demons?"
"No," said Michael. "It's just that the Strategic Defense Initiative missiles thought we were warheads from rogue nations and tried to shoot us down. Mostly, they missed."
The Lord was wroth and decided to move forward with His intention to drown the entire planet.
Imagine his surprise when, upon arriving on Earth, He found the planet already largely submerged and dead. The only living being was Noah, forlornly floating on a motheaten, diminished Ark filled with only a very few animals and bailing water out as fast as possible.
"Noah," said the Lord, "What has happened here?"
"Well," said Noah, "I tried to do things differently this time. Instead of using a bunch of overpaid, lazy carpenters, I contracted out the construction of the ark to an overseas holding company that paid workers $1.00 an hour for 12-hour days with no expensive benefits. And And because of NAFTA I didn't have to worry about OSHA, the Environmental Protection Agency, the ACLU or even common decency."
God nodded, while quietly marking Noah down for some remedial Bible study.
"So production was up and costs were down and everything looked pretty good until I opened the Wall Street Journal one day and found out that the overseas holding company had been acquired in a hostile takeover by Octopus Corporation. The next day I got a memo from the Board of Directors informing me that while I would stay on as Project Manager, the rest of my family had been fired (they called it "rightsizing"). They also said that since the takeover bid had caused Octopus Corp. to accumulate a lot of debt, my Species Recruitment budget had been cut in half and I could only have one of each Kind."
"That's absurd!" roared The Almighty. "That defeats my whole plan."
"Well," sighed Noah, "They said the economy was in a slump and everybody had to do some belt-tightening to keep Octopus Corp. competitive. Then they gave the CEO a $20 million dollar bonus."
"I hope you showed them the error of their ways!" rumbled The Lord.
"I tried, O Omniscient One, but they trotted out an army of expensive lawyers and sued me for breach of contract. I tried to take the story to the media, but all the big media companies were owned by guys who were also on the board of Octopus Corp. and none of them would run the story. So I set up a web site with plans of the Ark and your original instructions, but they filed a complaint under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act [This is a real law, by the way, kids.] and the FBI arrested me and shut down the web site."
"But didn't you appeal that ruling?"
"It went to the Supreme Court, which ruled 5 to 4 that any additional discussion of the issue would reduce public confidence in Octopus Corporation's ability to run the Ark."
"But what about all these holes in the Ark?"
"I'm coming to that," said Noah. "By the time all the appeals had been exhausted, acid rain had eaten away at a lot of the wood."
"Why are the animals sick and dying?" The Lord next inquired.
"That happened because Tyson Food fed them lots of antibiotics to accelerate their growth. They all caught an antibiotic-resistant form of Swine Flu."
God sighed, "And the flood?"
"Oh, that" mumbled Noah. "Global warming."
The rest is silence.